So we shall make a resolution for all of us…even those of us who are reading this on the Ulster Publishing website…to unchain ourselves from the invisible shackles of the electronic devices. We’re not saying to throw them all away. We’d just prefer it if the machines knew who was in charge…that’s us, right? As it is now, it’s up in the air.
Here are a few things that we do better than computers and their ever shrinking offspring, pads and phones.
Get a couple of beanbags and juggle. You can learn the initial three ball passes in an hour or two. Your computer doesn’t have the hands, the depth of field of vision, the coordination or the improvisatory skill…It opens up worlds and creates new neuropaths in your brain, highways to your lost youth.
Your phone can’t play live music and can’t witness a show of music in person like you can. Go sit up close to a show and hear the human inspiration and cooperation of hands on strings or keys, the sounds of life breathed into a curved brass saxophone…listen to what people can create without electronic filters. Pick up a musical instrument that dates back more than 100 years and sense the inspiration and humanity that has coaxed nothingness into what we call music…and then understand how much music has disappeared, once in a lifetime happenings that needn’t be recaptured because the instrument can go on creating new sound.
Stand in front of a painting in good light and really see the brushstrokes, understand the world, be it literal or abstract, that has been created by the hands and the mind of the artist.
Go into the market and grind some coffee beans. Before you close the bag, hold it open to your nose and smell the incredible aroma…or better yet, drive by the roaster on Route 28 when they are doing the deed, pull into the parking lot and open the windows of your car and allow yourself to be engulfed.
Touch someone, a live, willing person. You can do all kinds of lascivious things with a computer, but you can’t do that. Talk to a person, express emotion. Unlock the doors.
Or shovel some snow. Your computer can’t do that for you.
Happy New Year. Enjoy yourselves. ++